On Sept. 3, Sam was signed to the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad, a new position which gives him a "tremendous opportunity," according to Smith.
"If he's on the practice squad, that's the beginning," Smith, who played with the Cowboys from 1990-2002, told HuffPost Live. "And if he's getting the practice and doing what he needs to do...as the course of the season goes on, there will be injuries."
Despite Texas' conservative reputation, Smith didn't expect Sam, who became the first openly gay man to be drafted into the NFL earlier this year, would face any challenges related to his sexuality.
"Maybe fans [are] going to heckle, but that's everywhere you go," he said. "I'm sure he's accustomed to it. It's part of the game."